Band Director resignation causing parents to speak to the board

Published April 14, 2014 by justicewg

Justin Hennig was hired as the band director in the place of long time teacher Kie Watkins, just last year. This webpage welcomed him to the school, and told us about his history as the Assistant Band Director for Fairborn City Schools. He is very young with a short working experience since he left college, so it was a little puzzling how he was able to get the band director position.
Even more puzzling was the email sent out on April 9th from the high school principal, announcing the resignation of Mr. Hennig. A quote from the email:

As you may already know, Mr. Hennig has resigned his position as band director and has spoken with band students today to make them aware. We wish him well moving forward and we are very appreciative of his efforts with our band program. “

Full email after the jump.

A teacher resignation after one year might be caused by a poor fit and other opportunities presenting themselves, but all indications are that this “resignation” was caused by a school board that was unhappy and left him with no other options. The board agenda lists his resignation date as May 31, and most other full time teachers are employed until the end of July before they resign.

Word is that there will be a parent group attending the Tuesday April 15 board meeting and pleading for the board to change its mind and keep Henning at the school.

I have attended a number of board meetings where parents gave this sort of “please don’t fire our beloved teacher” plea at various schools. All of them were unsuccessful. If the board responds at all, they have a standard line about “we hate to do this, but there are reasons that we can’t talk about, you have to trust us”.

The Grandview board will be the same, they might even refuse to say a word about the reason they took action against Hennig. In case you have not read my essay on this subject, the Grandview Heights school board doesn’t care what you think (unless they want your money), and has no reason to explain themselves.

(Later) No explanation was given by the board for accepting Henning’s resignation, five votes yes.

Almost a hundred parents and students were at the meeting giving impassioned speeches to retain Henning. A full post on the meeting will be up soon.

Bobcat Band Families,

As you may already know, Mr. Hennig has resigned his position as band director and has spoken with band students today to make them aware. We wish him well moving forward and we are very appreciative of his efforts with our band program.

By the end of this week we will have developed a hiring timeline and comprehensive plan to begin the search for the next leader of our band program. It is important that all of you know that there will be an opportunity within the next two weeks for all students and parents to provide input regarding the most important qualities and characteristics that should be considered in our selection. Developing targeted criteria to calibrate our search efforts is one of the highest priorities in this process.

Mr. Hennig will continue to lead our band program throughout the remainder of the 13-14 school year in conjunction with Mr. Heath. We have already spent some time discussing and planning for this transition and will spend more time in the coming days and weeks. We appreciate both of their efforts in making this transition as smooth as it can be for our students.

Thank you, Ken Chaffin

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2 comments on “Band Director resignation causing parents to speak to the board

  • Ed O’Reilly lied to a room full of parents and the board itself about Mr. Hennig’s desire to remain as band director. That man’s abuses have no limits.

    • I have a strong feeling that his hands are “tied” much of the time. There is a strong board member who feels this school district is their own to rule.

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